|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Meno by Plato:
Virtue is no sooner discovered to be teachable, than the discovery follows
that it is not taught. Virtue, therefore, is and is not teachable.
In this dilemma an appeal is made to Anytus, a respectable and well-to-do
citizen of the old school, and a family friend of Meno, who happens to be
present. He is asked 'whether Meno shall go to the Sophists and be
taught.' The suggestion throws him into a rage. 'To whom, then, shall
Meno go?' asks Socrates. To any Athenian gentleman--to the great Athenian
statesmen of past times. Socrates replies here, as elsewhere (Laches,
Prot.), that Themistocles, Pericles, and other great men, had sons to whom
they would surely, if they could have done so, have imparted their own
political wisdom; but no one ever heard that these sons of theirs were
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Buttered Side Down by Edna Ferber:
ones is all dead, anyhow. Take old Salvini, now, and Dan Rice.
Them was actors. Come on out and have something."
Does the short-story writer felicitate himself upon having
discovered a rare species in humanity's garden? The Blase Reader
flips the pages between his fingers, yawns, stretches, and remarks
to his wife:
"That's a clean lift from Kipling--or is it Conan Doyle?
Anyway, I've read something just like it before. Say, kid, guess
what these magazine guys get for a full page ad.? Nix. That's just
like a woman. Three thousand straight. Fact."
To anticipate the delver into the past it may be stated that
Buttered Side Down
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Love and Friendship by Jane Austen:
obtained one of the Pope's Bulls for annulling his 1st Marriage
and has since actually married a Neapolitan Lady of great Rank
and Fortune. He tells us moreover that much the same sort of
affair has befallen his first wife the worthless Louisa who is
likewise at Naples had turned Roman-catholic, and is soon to be
married to a Neapolitan Nobleman of great and Distinguished
merit. He says, that they are at present very good Freinds, have
quite forgiven all past errors and intend in future to be very
good Neighbours. He invites Matilda and me to pay him a visit to
Italy and to bring him his little Louisa whom both her Mother,
Step-mother, and himself are equally desirous of beholding. As
Love and Friendship
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from An International Episode by Henry James:
and that the term has no meaning here."
"All the better. It's an animal I detest."
"You prefer a bluestocking."
"Is that what you call Miss Alden?"
"Her sister tells me," said Percy Beaumont, "that she
is tremendously literary."
"I don't know anything about that. She is certainly very clever."
"Well," said Beaumont, "I should have supposed you would have found
that sort of thing awfully slow."
"In point of fact," Lord Lambeth rejoined, "I find it uncommonly lively."
After this, Percy Beaumont held his tongue; but on